WELLS - An early goal by L'Anse got Escanaba's attention Saturday, as the Eskymos then responded with nine unanswered goals for a 9-1 hockey triumph in the championship game of the 13th Annual Gil Versailles Memorial Invitational.
Senior Derek Meleen gave the Purple Hornets their lone tally with a slapshot from the left point on a power play just one minute, 39 seconds into the contest at the Wells Sports Complex.
"We probably had our worst start all season and they took advantage," said Esky coach Tim McCarthy. "That got their spirits up right away, and we had to think about what we were doing."
Esky junior Derek Chaillier tied the score with an unassisted goal on a power play at 6:41 and Levi Wunder sent the Eskymos ahead to stay with a wrap-around goal on another power play at 10:36.
Wunder then gave the Eskymos a two-goal cushion at 14:10, scoring his second of four goals from the slot. The sophomore forward also had two assists.
"Levi works real well with the other kids in his line," said McCarthy. "Everybody on our team is working hard."
Esky (4-2) exploded for six more goals in the second period, ending the contest after 34 minutes by the mercy rule.
"They (Esky) are quick and relentless," said L'Anse coach Darrin Voskuhl. "Getting a goal right away helped, only couldn't match their speed. I thought we played hard. But we were chasing them and penalties killed us."
L'Anse senior Jason Rank and sophomore Michael Turunen combined for 20 saves.